So I have no idea if River really understands whats about to happen!
He knows baby sister is in my tummy. He talks about her here and there. Sometimes he'll even tell me something is for her if we open a new package or I pick up a dress. BUT he also gets super confused at times too. Its like he is right in the middle age of "getting it" and "not getting it"
He is a great big brother most the time (minus the sharing/bossy pants issues) but he is helpful and caring and enjoys celebrating Wylder! In those ways Im definitely not worried.
But he is a sensitive little dude .. as Im sure most 2 year olds are to big life changes .. and the way he processes and handles big change is different and Ive learned for him its best if we prepare him for whats about to happen and talk through a lot of it. Im fine with however he responds to all the change but I want to know that we did some practical things to help him be ready for it. So, if he has a hard time we can just work from there. Who knows .. maybe he'll just jump on board and wont struggle at all!!
Its so funny how last time I really didnt do anything to prepare River except get him a big brother shirt! ha. Thats about how I feel with Wylder this time.. and lucky me, he gets to wear River's old Big Brother shirt!
---note: I wasnt concerned about Wylder as Im able to see he wont understand a lot of it or really ever remember not having her around. HOWEVER, I would never use the word "gentle" to describe Wylder so I did start realizing we should have worked with him more on those things! Whooopsie!
Anyway, we've talked about sister the entire time Ive been pregnant. But we've focused on it a lot more lately.
Here are a few things we've done to try to help River understand:
I made this banner first to count down the days .. then realized I didnt know what to do with the numbers as I took them off so I made a paper chain one instead.
I thought River would have more fun with it:
we started at 30 days.
it looks a lot different now with just 1 link on it.
Every time we take one off he goes and makes a ramp for his cars with it! Too funny.
For a while I thought he started to think the paper chain was baby sister. (I wish I was kidding) because if we brought her up he'd run over and say "countdown to baby sister?" and want to take one off. But now that we are down to days that he can count himself .. and now that we've made sure we explain its not just "sister" coming but "a baby" (which I think he understands more) I feel better that he understands the concept of what we're doing!
we've brought him to the doctor with us. (ONCE we brought him. the only time Freeland could come!) I loved watching Wylder & River hear their sisters heartbeat
we checked out lots of books from the library
we moved the seats in the van again. River LOVES the new arrangement and thinks he's so big sitting in the back. But we've talked all about where sisters car seat goes and how he gets to help her.
I also made the boys a book. (Per our old babysitter Katie's recommendation! Thanks Katie)
River LOVES it. Well, at first he didnt and I was bummed. I mean.. cant you just see how many hours I put into this thing?! (kidding) But now he loves it. I never got around to coloring it but after a week I realized he didnt need it colored or fancied up.
In the book I just wrote out what is going to happen .. mimi is going to fly in on a plane, momma & dadda are going to go to the hospital to pick up baby sister, River is going to get to come to the hospital to meet baby sister, River gets to stay home and play with mimi, Momma & Dadda will bring baby sister home.. and then wrote out what the baby will do and how River can help and how he is an awesome big brother.
Probably the BEST thing I did
(and the thing that got him interested in the book)
was that I wrote out the baby is just going to eat, sleep, cry, and poop... and I drew a picture of poop! It was the golden ticket to getting him to love it. He cracks up and will sit through the whole book now just to get to that page. ;) Genius Mother Moment!
Other than that we have just let him help us get things ready for her.. like her room or cleaning her carseat.. or getting her bottles ready.. he just tags along and I try to talk to him about what we're doing and why so he feels more apart of it all.
and we've definitely just enjoyed as much time as we could lounging around with them and enjoying time with a house full of boys. Savoring every minute!
We have some things prepared for the hospital too. I have gifts for both Wylder & River that are "from their sister" and a few other treats. And we plan on having Freeland come with my mom up to the hospital when the boys come so they feel more comfortable walking in seeing me in the bed .. that sort of thing.
Im excited. And I should say .. we've also done LOTS of praying! ;) I actually felt convicted I was trying to do so much on my own to prepare them instead of just trusting the Lord to prepare their hearts. It was in his plan for us to have a little baby. He's prepared River & Wylder in their own unique ways as big brothers and Im excited about that!
Oh and I cant tell you how much I love having 3 little kids rooms in our house! It feels so full and somehow feels like its how are house was meant to be .. if that makes sense?